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If you're looking for clever makeup hacks that save you time, money and effort, TikTok has your back. From using fake tan as lip liner (don't knock it 'til you've tried it) to the brow mapping trick (a little fiddly but it works), the app is filled to bursting with tips from beauty enthusiasts. This month, one hack in particular is catching the attention of makeup lovers everywhere: DIY BB cream.
What is BB cream and what does it do?
BB is short for 'blemish balm' or 'beauty balm'. In terms of texture, BB cream is a little less heavy than foundation and typically provides light to medium coverage. TikToker Charlotte Hyatt Willis recently went viral with her DIY BB cream video, which saw her mix a few drops of foundation, primer, SPF, moisturiser and highlighter or serum to create a featherweight homemade product that tucks away skin gripes. Think dark circles, and scars left behind by acne. As the products are mixed together rather than layered individually on the skin, you're likely to apply less, and the finish is said to be a lot smoother. BB cream meshes better with the skin, too, making it more comfortable to wear, so it's probably a better option for summer when lots of us tend to favour lighter textures.
How do you make TikTok's BB cream?
Firstly, I would suggest avoiding mixing in SPF. It's best to layer this onto your skin before applying any makeup for the very best protection. Mixing sunscreen with something else could see you apply much less than needed (a level teaspoonful for your face, according to dermatologists). Sunscreen is a must all year round – even when it's cold and cloudy – but more so in the summer when the sun is a lot stronger. Opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen with the symbols UVA and UVB on the label to protect your skin against cancer-causing rays and signs of ageing, as well as sunburn. A beauty editor favourite Ultra Violette Lean Screen Mineral Mattifying Fragrance Free Skinscreen SPF50, $45, which is great for oily skin. SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50+ Facial Sunscreen, $55, is excellent for darker skin as it doesn't leave behind a white cast.
For the BB cream recipe, I cleaned out a plastic pot and started with two pumps of Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation, $68, a matte foundation which provides medium to full coverage. I followed with one full pump of Superfluid Primer, and a squeeze of SLMD Skincare Facial Moisturiser With Vitamin C (not available in Australia), leaving out the addition of a serum thanks to the potent vitamin C ingredient. I'm not a big fan of liquid highlighter (it can be too shiny on my already oily skin) so I opted for something more understated instead: Victoria Beckham by Augustinus Bader Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturiser Illuminating Complexion Crème in Golden, $96 which gives skin a believable, bronzed glow.
Once all of the products were combined, I took a little spatula and whisked them together for a good minute or so. According to TikToker Charlotte, it pays to choose products with a similar consistency. Otherwise, they might not blend well or, worse, ball up on your skin.
Is TikTok's homemade BB cream any good?
No matter how expensive or beloved the foundation, sometimes my skin ends up looking a little flat after applying makeup, but this mixture breathed life into my face. The product itself applied seamlessly and my skin was dewy, radiant and smooth. The reflective particles in the liquid highlighter and silky texture of the primer blurred any blemishes including a big spot I grew overnight, and I didn't need concealer. Though I mixed four different products, I actually ended up using much less than I would usually so my skin didn't feel caked or heavy and I had a little left over for the next day. I'm surprised I hadn't thought of doing this before and, actually, it has convinced me to ditch the heavy foundation and switch up the way I apply makeup.
I added a shimmery blush and eye makeup to pull my look together but this is so natural that you could easily wear it on its own, much like a tinted moisturiser. To apply, I used a flat foundation brush, however fingers work just as well.
Why not buy an actual BB cream, you ask? Though there are plenty on the market, many shade ranges are limited. Foundation on the other hand tends to have a wider selection of colours to suit more skin tones, so mixing products together allows you to tailor the BB to your individual skin tone. Depending on the ingredients in your moisturiser (or serum, if you're using this instead), this DIY BB cream might have better skin benefits, too. I know my skin laps up vitamin C, which I've noticed helps to reduce skin staining left behind by a recent breakout. Makeup artists play apothecary all the time and mix up different batches and blends to suit their model's skin needs, so it makes perfect sense that this hack is taking off. If you're in a hurry, you could even combine the products on the back of your hand, but if you top up your makeup regularly, a little pot is great for on the go.
The jury is still out on some of TikTok's makeup hacks (ehem, lipstick blush) but this gets my vote as one of the best so far.